How to Incorporate White Flowers Into Your Wedding

Seasonal picks, care tips and more ways to work these classic blooms into your day

Anyone using white flowers as her inspiration will want to fill the wedding with plenty of the real deal. Here are ideas and tips to help you get white right.

Throw Down
For an elegant post-ceremony “toss,” pass out paper cones filled with white hydrangea florettes.

Hair Apparent
Want to weave blooms into your do? Choose those with staying power, like roses, orchids or freesias, and ask your florist to wire them into combs, clips or hairpins. For flower girls, white hyacinth florettes can be wired to create head wreaths.

Great Garnishes
Edible white rose petals can be used to spiff up salads; they can also be sprinkled with edible gold or silver leaf and added to glasses of champagne for a fancy flourish. Though they aren’t edible, hardy flower heads like orchids or gerbera daisies look lovely garnishing trays of hors d’oeuvres.

Glass Act
Press white carnation petals under glass or Plexiglas to make a layer of “confetti” on your cake table or escort card table. (Petals should be dry so moisture doesn’t build up; if necessary, blot with paper towels and air dry for 30 minutes.)

Fresh Favors
For a charming favor, wrap daisies in cellophane and hand to guests at the evening’s end. They’ll be a pretty reminder of your wedding the next morning.

Floating Flora
White blossoms, which reflect light, are ideal for floating in oversize glass bowls (try water-loving flowers such as gardenias or spider mums). Even considering the cost of the vessels and the addition of floating candles, these centerpieces will save serious cash.

Chain Reaction
Garlands of white carnations are elegant, inexpensive ways to liven up a space. They can be grouped together to create a “curtain” that frames an area, hung from a structure at the altar, or dangled from doorways to make passageways prettier. At the ceremony, they can be used in the first few rows to indicate reserved seating.

Plant Life
Pots of miniature roses or daisies are a DIYer’s dream and give tables an elegantly homespun look. Rent or buy them from a garden center. Potted rose trees can also be used to delineate the ceremony aisle.

Flower Facts

Because of their delicate shading, white flowers show more evidence of browning than other petals—gardenias, lilies of the valley and garden roses are especially fragile. Store bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages in florist’s boxes, away from heat and direct sunlight, until they’re needed for the ceremony. For an outdoor wedding during especially sultry weather, you may want to keep centerpieces in an air-conditioned room until the last possible moment.

Many white beauties (such as gardenias, paperwhites, stephanotis, lilies, and tuberose) are renowned for their intense fragrances. Keep them off serving trays and tables, since they’ll interfere with guests’ enjoyment of the food (they can also attract insects). Finally, quiz the bridal party about allergies before ordering flowers for their bouquets and boutonnieres: You want to hear the string quartet playing during the ceremony, not a chorus of “Achoo!”s.

What’s in Season
A guide to the availability of white blooms through the year:

Year-round: Calla lily, stephanotis, gardenia, orchid, rose, lily

Winter: Amaryllis, camellia, hyacinth, pussy willow, white poinsettia

Spring: Dahlia, dogwood, freesia, geranium, hyacinth, iris, lily of the valley, lisianthus, tulip, violet

Summer: Anemone, baby’s breath, daisy, garden rose, gladiola, hydrangea, peony, phlox, stock, sweet pea

Fall: Aster, cosmos, kale, white spider mum, zinnia

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